Now What Do We Do?
Greetings from the Ever Changing Landscape of Media Relations,
Two and half years after COVID shuttered offices – and newsrooms – we’re still seeing shifts in how media companies are adapting to the remote/hybrid/return to office landscape. And that means we’re constantly adapting to new ways of building relationships – especially as face-to-face meetings have become so rare.
- New York is important, but so is Poughkeepsie
New York, once the hub of media outlets is no longer a sure thing when it comes to booking face-to-face media appointments. Today, your perfect contact is just as likely to be upstate, or across the country as they are to be in Manhattan. When you’re traveling – anywhere – let us know, and we’ll see if we can maximize you time with some meaningful meetings. But there are no guarantees. See #2…
- Electronic takes the spotlight
Loooong gone are the days of picking up the phone for a quick chat. With workers embracing a more nomadic lifestyle, email has become the primary mode of communication. Unless you have a writer’s cell number and are comfortable using it (and they are comfortable sharing it), email, or Slack, or X are the go-to channels.
- Cast a wider net for freelancers
In today’s media landscape, casting a wider net of known freelancers for a specific publication is necessary to secure stories. As a result, non-urgent stories take longer to secure, often two to three times as long as pre-2020. And we need to reach out to 3 times as many people at every publication. In fact, our media lists are 3 times as long as they used to be just to yield the same results.
4. Sampling is a struggle
Sending samples to reporters and freelancers has become trickier due to closed mail rooms and the need to deliver items to homes. Now, we must track a new key performance indicator – the willingness to receive a sample. Surprise and delight are no longer the priority. Confirm and reconfirm is where it’s at.
5. Beat reporting is no more
Decentralized newsrooms have brought an end to the era of “beat” reporting – unless you’re assigned to a political campaign, the White House or the like. This means building genuine media relationships is more crucial than ever. Reporters might cover real estate, insurance, tech, home décor or home beverages, but most teams now adopt an “all hands on deck” approach, with whoever has the bandwidth getting the assignment. As a result, building relationships with writers becomes imperative for staying in the loop about their work and team dynamics.
The bottom line is the decentralized newsroom is the new normal and media relations is still the most influential marketing activity. The less predictable the placement, the more influential. When the landscape changes (and it will), we’ll let you know. In the meantime, stay flexible!